Monday, December 28, 2015

Don't you miss Letterman's Top Ten Lists? Here's the Top Ten viewed blog/news posts of 2015

THE Big news. I do not get rich by blogging or writing for that matter. In fact, logspot finds my site ineligible in the world of google ads. So conclusively this is all for your and my enjoyment, odds leaning toward mine.

So here is the annual Top Ten most viewed blog posts from this blog. There are a few ties and all the Top Ten have links back to the original post.




 This year's list isn't dominated by much of anything. It's a nice well rounded list of types of subject matter. So here they are, in reverse order





10. Nick Flynn, Gregory Pardlo and Rachel Eliza Griffiths riding with me to MassPoetry 2015--and yes, I really screwed up the filming

Reason: People love great poets being interviewed in cars, just as much as they like Jerry Seinfeld in cars with comedians. Besides screwing up the filming, there was something screwed up later in the year which that wonderful car was involved in...being run off the road
.

What totaled looks like.

9. What happens when a good friend takes over your Dire Literary Series for her book launch.

Reason: I had nothing to do with this. Nadine's books is new, fresh and great. The launch was fun and people freaking love game shows. 

Reason: The tie in with MassPoetry and Billie Holiday helped.

Reason: People love parties and pictures. Writing Centers that offer help, workshops and events are helpful to all writers.


Reason: When on-line publications die and there is no archive, what are you going to do, cry?

Reason: Most viewed blog about any of my published work of 2015.  People like life/death experiences and the afterlife. Hell, they like death. Even Dead Market Writings made this list. They like Freud. Adler and Rogers. They like cleverness. Win.
Reason: People are into process--the "how to" get something done. I'm not because this book is still not finished. Revision can be a huge avoidance.

Reason: See #5 blog. Oh, but this one got more views so that's even more true.

Reason: People loved 2009. They loved Thieves Jargon. They loved the long google-able list with their names on it as well as the names of EVER writer ever published by Thieves Jargon.

Reason: Best news of all. Five years of sobriety on November 6. People were interested in that--attraction, yes?

 

 

 

And the number One most viewed blog post of 2015



1. On Franz Wright death and e-mails/wonderful exchanges with Franz


Reason: Franz was loved as a man and as a poet. His exchanges with others have been notoriously volatile.  Not with me...only fond e-mails and exchanges




Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 My publishing year in review----and it was a small one.



As the sun sets on 2015 here's the Total Output for the year
 Fiction 5
Poetry 4
Essays 1

 It's the least published output in twelve years, but much of that was because of the writing of the not yet published Grand Slam, where the stats can be found here
  "The Making of a Novel...."
and here "The Finishing of a Novel's first rough draft..."

2015 was a time where I did not submit my work very often. So, here's to 2016


 SHORT, FLASH AND MICRO FICTIONS 
 
""How She Traded Up on Damnation", August 28, 2015 Tell Tale Inklings I
"How He Was Left"

"After the Afterlife" June 27, 2015 Right Hand Pointing, #188

"The Prominent Father" February 25, 2015 Oddball Magazine

"Touching All The Bases" February 3, 2015 Breakwater Review




POETRY
 
"A Poem For Forever"
December 16, 2015, Oddball Magazine

"The Fifth Bloody Mary on a Sunday Afternoon"
November 14, 2015, Ibbetson 38

  "The Night Wind"
October 16, 2015, Muddy River Poetry Review

"But you forgot, To remember"
March 9, 2015, Mass Poetry Website, Poem of the Moment


ESSAYS

November 10, 2015, The Sobriety Collective
"Timothy Gager's Story"

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"A Poem for Forever" published in Oddball Magazine is about a Higher Power

The story behind the story of this poem is comparable TJ Edsen's accompanying photograph. Central Square looks like it's bathed in stained glass---church-like, but the photo can't completely capture the senses of someone actually walking through that ally or even sitting in a church, just as our senses in life do not completely capture the range of all of our senses in death. What? Well, read on.


 At 17, I had a NDE (Near Death Experience), which words cannot accurately describe, as the experience is so far outside the margins. I tried to here in the short story "Still Water Runs Deep" (2003), found in Short Street.


He fell lifeless, gravity pulling him slowly to the bottom of the ocean. Too tired to swim, but not giving up. Letting the water embrace him, soft, a gentle force against his skin. Mind over matter…Mind over matter…Mind over matter. This must be what a meditative trance is like.

He spread his arms, and he breathed the water’s oxygen—warm, like a hit of the best brandy in the entire world. The warmth radiated throughout his entire body. Is this what it’s like to die?

Just keep relaxing, his mind told him. His mind. The physical effort had now disappeared, and his entire existence felt different somehow. It was as if he were online with his mind, using his brain in a new way—or was it his soul he was using now? Information was being accessed. Pictures were clear, presenting themselves to him: the tile floor he knelt on as a six-year-old, spinning to get dizzy, simulating his first time drunk; the center of his Sit-N-Spin; the label of the first 45 record he ever owned, a yellow-and-orange checkered pattern (Tommy James and the Shondelles) turning around and around.
His mind was boundless, filled with the knowledge he had acquired in his life. Filled also with something else. All the knowledge that could potentially be acquired soared through his lobes and synapses. It was information he had no right knowing: the Theory of Relativity, Freudian psychoanalysis, methods of combustion, construction of an atomic warhead, human anatomy, Pythagorean theorems and every language ever known. All of it was right there. He was becoming mentally aligned with the universe.
Fifteen minutes ago, on his sailboat, it had been only a feeling, perhaps a faint sense of…something. He certainly couldn’t have anticipated the boom shifting, cracking him on the head and knocking him off his fishing boat. If it could happen now, he would have already known it was coming.
But floating outside of his current body the ability to foresee the accident was just a Catch-22. All his senses were being replaced by total knowledge.
A large, glowing hand appeared in the water. It seemed non-threatening, seeing a large, glowing hand floating near him. He instinctively knew it was the Total Entity, some sort of God coming to carry him away, showing him a choice he had to make. It seemed laid out, and simple. It was a question. Should I stay in this body or should I go into the hand of The Entity? It was the only piece of information in his entire being he seemed to question. Should I return to the body I know, or should I go with all this knowledge to where I’m being led?
Immediately he was separated from his body, which slowly sank into the ocean.


It was something far short of the actual experience. Years later I tried it in a poem, today's "A Poem for Forever".  Very often when I start a poem it'll start somewhere and then go wherever it wants and as a writer I let that happen and then THAT becomes the poem. This one ended up religious, spiritual, and about G-O-D. It felt odd, but it also felt, this is all new territory and a pretty decent poem. So here it is.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ibbetson 38 released with a poem of mine and a wonderful cast of poetic characters.

Ibbetson Street 38 is out with a fabulous list of poets. It's a great publication per usual and you can pick one up on Lulu here.

Included is my poem, "The Fifth Bloody Mary on a Sunday Afternoon"--brunch for a bad marriage. 

 

List of Contributor for Ibbetson Street  38

HEY POET 1
Keith Tornheim
THE PEARLS OF AN ARTIST 2
Louisa Clerici
DOURCEUR/SWEETNESS 3
Ida Faubert/tr. Danielle Legros Georges
TO MUCH OR NOT ENOUGH 4
Wendy Drexler
RETREAT INTO THE COLDEST CAVE 4
Marge Piercy
THE WEIGHT OF YOU 5
Emily Pineau
MID-SHIFT, AUGUST 5
Julia Carlson
LAST DAY AT THE LAKE 6
Judith Katz-Levine
TEA AND LIME 6
Irene Koronas
LONGING 6
Ruth Chad
MASHA’S EAR 7
Dorian Brooks
AGLETS 7
Gary Metras
JESSIE’S GIRL 8
Valerie Loveland
MILLIE 9
Lauren Davis
THEN COMES 9
Robert K. Johnson
SLOW MOTION BALLET 9
Susan Tepper
ICE SKATES 10
Ted Kooser
ABSTRACT LANDSCAPE 10
Lauri Soriano
BLUE-HAIRED GODDESS AT THE BLACKJACK TABLE 11
Steve Glines
FROM THE COLD 11
Lainie Senchel
THE FIFTH BLOODY MARY ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON 12
Timothy Gager
INK 12
Beverly Boyd
DINING OUT WITH OUR ZOMBIE 13
Thomas O’Leary
THE MASSEUSE: TO A DANCER (after a sculpture by Degas) 14
David Ruekberg
I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU 15
Lyn Lifshin
PAIN-SHAPE-STEVEN 15
Nina Rubinstein Alonso
NEW YEAR’S DAY 16
Philip E. Burnham, Jr.
NIGHT BECKONS 16
Kathleen Aguero
TRACKS 16
Michael Casey
NOVEMBER WEATHER 17
Llyn Clague
IN THE ACT 17
Kirk Etherton
BENEDICTUS 18
Melinda Kemp Lyerly
FORTUNE COOKIE 18
Brendan Galvin
THE GREEN DRAGON FARMER’S MARKET 19
Molly Mattfield Bennett
THE SEEKER 20
Joanna Nealon
HILLS POND 20
Miriam Levine
FIRE WALTZ 21
Nick Vittum
GUIDANCE FOR ACHILLES 21
Dennis Daly
LOST ON THE LITTLE ISLAND 22
Alexander Levering Kern
SHIPWRECK ARTEMIS 23
Karen Locascio
HYPOGLYCYMIA 23
Lucy Holstedt
HUGH 24
Eric Greinke and Glenna Luschei
FLOUROSCOPE 26
Andrea Cohen
THE THINKING OCEAN 27
Michael Estabrook
BAD MOVIES 28
Michael Todd Steffen
A WOMAN LAUGHS 29
Charles Coe
THE WIND TAKES OFF 29
Pui Ying Wong
A GRAVE PLIGHT 30
Harris Gardner
SEEING OUT THE YEAR 31
Linda M. Fischer
AND THE WINNER IS 31
Ellaraine Lockie
CLOSER 32
Margaret Vidale
BON VOYAGE 33
Bill Dill
FEED FORCES 33
Rich Murphy
THE TEACHER’S PRAYER 34
Afaa Michael Weaver
NUNC 35
John Skoyles
CASA DE LUZ 36
Krikor Der Hohannesian
THIS TIME 37
Jacquelyn Malone
YOU ARE A RIVER 37
Deborah Leipziger
PRISONER OF MY OWN KINGDOM 38
Beatriz Alba del Rio
THEY’RE NOT THAT UNUSUAL 39
Teisha Twomey
BOOKISH 39
Rene Schwiesow
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her Daughter Mary Shelley 40
Lawrence Kessenich

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This is my story and I'm sticking to it....Essay published in The Sobriety Collective

 How it was

NOVEMBER 6, 2010

I’m coming out of a blackout at The People’s Republik in Cambridge, Massachusetts and I’m in mid-sentence. I know where I am because I remember coming in with some friends earlier. I can never leave early enough. I confused where this sentence is going to or even what I am talking about. I don’t know where my friends I came with are? Did they leave me here? Why? Stupid question because I know even if I wasn’t remembering specifics of this night. Bad behavior leads to lost friendships.

How do I get home? Oh, that’s right, I remember I drove here. 

Today. Here is my full story, the continuation of the above excerpt, written text of what I usually share as a speaker.

At various times here at my blog, or during interviews or other essays I've talked about my sobriety. Usually it's around the time of my anniversary date. On November 6, it is my fifth anniversary, which is a big one, a nice round number.


As a writer, I'm also a reader. As a sober person, I'm also a reader. I'm a regular reader of The Fix, which one day, brought me to a web site, new to me, After Party Magazine, from one of The Fix's editor's Anna David, author of Party Girl.

We all know how the internet works in times of boredom. You start out searching for apple picking and by the time you are done you are on serial killer pages. This wasn't as drastic, as After Party Magazine took me to the 20 Best Recovery Blogs. Here I found The Sobriety Collective run by Laura Silverman. Here is her story, and thanks for publishing mine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Thoughts about The Pushcart Prize and being nominated.


 Honored that "How She Traded Up On Damnation" published in Tell-Tale Inklings was nominated by Mignon Ariel King for the Pushcart Prize. It is my tenth nomination but first since 2011.

What is The Pushcart Prize? Is it this?


The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America.
Since 1976, hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in our annual collections. Each year most of the writers and many of the presses are new to the series. Every volume contains an index of past selections, plus lists of outstanding presses with addresses.
The Pushcart Prize has been a labor of love and independent spirits since its founding. It is one of the last surviving literary co-ops from the 60's and 70's. Our legacy is assured by donations to our Fellowships endowment.











Or this link? Along the lines Matthew 22:14 comes Jon Fox: "For many are invited but few are chosen."
                                         An open later to Pushcart nominated folks. 


I think I fall somewhere HERE, is a post I found by E. Kristen Anderson which I agree with her right to celebrate the choice of your work by the editor who originally published you. Cheers, EKA. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Poem, "The Night Wind" published in Muddy River Poetry Review's Fall 2015 issue

The Muddy River Poetry Review has been around for over twenty years, so it's an honor and a privilege to  appear in their Fall 2015 issue with my poem, "The Night Wind"--which is just in time for the temperatures in Massachusetts to dip into the twenties this weekend, at night. It's my first poem published since March and only my second of 2015. 


Poker and love are two ways one can be a donkey. Just saying---neither is odds worthy, but with love and natural selection, many mate for life.

 Needless to say, I'm not writing much in the way of poetry this year, but this one was nice to see up on the pages of Muddy River Poetry Review.





Monday, October 5, 2015

What happens when a good friend takes over your Dire Literary Series for her book launch.






I've run The Dire Literary Series for fourteen years. Basically it's been the same or in a similar format the entire time, features followed by an open mic. When Nadine Darling, who I've known for about a million years and whose book I've long anticipated asked to be a feature--the answer was obvious. When she asked to take over the entire event for the launch for She Came From Beyond, with skits, a game show and other shenanigans, the answer was a guarded obvious. This was only until the planning process---when I knew the idea would become a smash.

You can watch some segments right here, recorded by Glenn Bowie, poet, lyricist and overall good guy.

1) Opening monologue




2) I interviewed Sarah Blake (Mr. West) as Merv Griffin, (not filmed) and then Sarah read






3) Then Sarah's aunt, Beth Maloney, gets interviewed by "Merv" and she reads from her book.





4) Then we ran the Match Game with stars Rusty Barnes, Robin Stratton (as Bret Somers), Chad Parenteau (as Chad Nelson Reilly), Nadine Darling, Christopher Reilley and Sarah Blake. I ran the show as Gene Rayburn





5) Then the real star of the evening, Nadine Darling (and a random dog) read from her debut novel




6) and "It's a wrap"



Friday, September 18, 2015

Coming fairly soon: A whole lot of things--a book, an anthology and Nadine Darling takes over Dire for a month!



DIFFERENT DIRE Series
AN EVENING WITH NADINE DARLING
OCTOBER 2, 2015, 7 PM
oUT OF THE BLUE ART GALLERy
541 mass ave
CAMBRIDGE, MA--at Central square
A Evening with Nadine Darling (October 2015)
Literary Match Game 2015 starring Rusty Barnes, Robin Stratton, Chad Parenteau,
Sarah Blake, Nadine Darling and Sue Miller. Prizes!!
Plus A Talk Show,
And Special Guests, Sarah Blake, Timothy Gager ,
SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAYS   

Ah, yes The Match Game for a book release!



Let's start with the different Dire, the literary series I've run every month for 14 years. When Nadine Darling, author of She Came From Beyond! asked to take over my series, for her book release, I said,
"Yes!"

I don't think I'd allow a takeover for anyone else but Nadine, as she is a friend of mine who I've workshopped with and who I read to overcome any writer's block I may be having. The cadence of her work opens creative cadences in my own brain, if that makes any sense.


So we decided to make it fun. No open mic, with giveaways, the game show and a segment using Talk Show format, interviewing Nadine and Sarah Blake, poetess author of "Mr. West".  There will also be a big screen with old commercials, live commercials, which will be improvised and various sound effects. Rumor has it that another poetess Teisha Twomey will appear as Vana White to keep the Match Game scores and I will play Gene Rayburn AND Irv Muffin (Merv Griffin)



2. "Grand Slam's: A Coming of Eggs Story" went through it's second edit. This one, a bang up job, by Cheryl Devitt after Rene Schwiesow had the difficult task of looking at "raw data" of a second draft. I feel pretty good about this book. Look for it in 2016.



3. The anthology, co-edited with Rusty Barnes(mentioned last week) featuring submissions from any­
one who thinks they have some­thing to say on the sub­ject of white trash, those who know oth­ers well enough to impress us with that knowl­edge, and with par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to those who have been iden­ti­fied or self-identify as white trash.

That's enough news for today!

xoxo,
Gossip Girl